“Ah! Hyung!” Sanghyun tossed his PlayStation stick. “This is no fun, you always win.”
Jiyong broke laughter. That evening, the two decided to spend their usual basketball time with playing PlayStation because Sanghyun had just got a new game from his friend. “Well, it’s you who don’t play well.” He stuck out his tongue.
Sanghyun scanned his collection of old PlayStation games. “Let’s play this one.” He waved a disc.
“Okay…” Jiyong shifted his seat. The two ‘brothers’ soon immersed in the game. They only stopped a while to greet back Sanghyun’s mother when she came home. They didn’t realize her hands were full with groceries as they were too absorbed in the game.
“Hyun, gotta go to toilet!” Jiyong suddenly paused the game and jumped out of the sofa.
“Ah! I’m nearly winning, Hyung! You pause in purpose!” Sanghyun shouted.
“Hyun-ah, get me some ice please, and bring this to dining table.” His mother called from the kitchen. Sanghyun did as asked and peeked at his mother cooking. Whoa, octopus! His face brightened. He and his sister like any kind of food made from octopus. However, their mother doesn’t cook octopus very often. She only cooks octopus on special occasion like Dara’s or his birthday, or a day when her salary is increased. Those facts made Sanghyun furrowed. What is special today?
“Mommy, Hyunnie, I’m home!” Dara sang as she swung the door. She went directly to the kitchen and pecked her mother. “Hmm, am I smelling octopus in the air?” her eyes went wide and big grin plastered on her face.
Her mother smiled. “Go change your clothes, dinner will be ready soon.”
Moments later the family had surrounded the dining table. Dara didn’t notice Sanghyun prepared an extra plate next to him.
“How is life at the hakwon, dear? Exams are coming, right?” Her mother asked.
“So-so, Mom. There are students who don’t have any intention to study that their mothers have to drag them to hakwon because their marks are real bad, but they still attempt to escape from hakwon after their mother leaving.” Dara shook her head. “On the other hand, I got another student who is very diligent, too diligent I should say. She studies hard at any times. The bad thing I don’t like from her is she always asks for tutoring any time she sees me free.” She sighed.
“It’s good for her; she sure will get good marks.” Sanghyun chuckled.
“But she took my break time; I’m not even able to lunch properly.” Dara whined.
“However, you should appreciate her strong will. Not all your students are as diligent as her, you said that before.” Her mother commented.
“Thank God they’re not as diligent as her.” She groaned. “I’ll be died if there are other students like her.” She put her head on the table. That time, she realized there’s a plate across her, next to Sanghyun.
“Someone is joining our dinner?” Dara lifted her head and looked at Sanghyun questioningly.
“Wow, Aunty, you cook octopus!” Jiyong exclaimed and took the seat beside Sanghyun. “Oh, you’ve come home, Nuna.” He smiled sweetly at her. She turned her head from him.
“Ah, you still remember my old friend Nayoung? I met her at the supermarket earlier. She was carrying her granddaughter.” Her mother opened the conversation. “Oh God, the little baby is very cute, she resembles Nayoung’s eldest son very much.”
“Oh, so Jaejoong hyung has married? When?” Sanghyun asked.
“A year ago. And when we were talking, Nayoung’s daughter-in-law came. Guess who she is?” her mother turned to see Dara.
Dara raised her eyebrow, signaling she had no idea.
“Your junior, Kwon BoA!”
Dara’s eyes widened. BoA, as in BoA her junior who was also her pair in debate club back then? “BoA had got married?” she repeated in disbelief.
Her mother nodded. “Yes… Ah, Nayoung is so lucky to already have grandchild at her age.” She drifted her eyes to Dara then Sanghyun. “I want to have a grandchild too…”
Dara and Sanghyun choked at their mother’s statement. Jiyong noticed the changes on Dara’s face.
“Oh yeah, almost forget this.” Her mother cut Dara’s line. She went to the living room and returned with a brown envelope in her hand. She handed it to Dara.
“What’s this?” Dara looked at it questioningly.
“Just read it.” She answered shortly and busied herself with her food again.
Dara opened the envelope and took out papers from it. She read the first paper and quickly put them down on the table harshly. “Why do you this to me, Mom?”
“Isn’t he a nice man, this Sangwoo?” her mother asked with smile on her face.
“You made me looked like a pathetic. Why do you set me up? I can find a man by my own.”
“Then find one! Ever since I told you to get married in our last dinner at Jiyong’s house, you haven’t found any man yet, have you? Look at Sangwoo. What’s lacking from him?”
Sanghyun took the papers his sister put down. Jiyong joined him reading them. Lee Sangwoo, age 29, Head of IT Department at Hana Bank Seoul branch. He looks too old for his age, Jiyong commented.
“He-he’s—I don’t like him.” Dara stuttered searching for a reason.
“What is it from him that you don’t like?” her mother continued to shoot her with question.
“I-I—I just don’t want to get married yet, Mom!” Dara defended herself. “You can’t push me!”
Jiyong’s attention drifted to two women in front of him. Seems like there will be a scene.
“You know why I want you to get married soon, Dara. I know you care about me and Sanghyun very much, and I thank you for all those. But you really need to care about yourself now… Go find your happiness. Meet a man and marry him.”
“I’m okay Mom; you don’t have to worry about me. I’m happy with my condition now.”
“You’re not, Dara. I want someone to love you, to look after you. I know you have never had a boyfriend up until now—don’t deny it, I know Donghyuk wasn’t your boyfriend, you just abruptly being asked by him to the prom on your high school graduation because his girlfriend was sick, and as his good friend who were single you agreed to be his partner.”
“Can we please not talking about this topic?” Dara pleaded. Jiyong could see her face reddened—from holding back anger or sadness?
Her mother was going to say something, but Jiyong’s all-of-sudden question stopped her. “What is your ideal type of woman, Hyun?”
Sanghyun choked again. “Yah, what’s that, hyung?”
“Don’t ask back, just answer it.”
“Hmm…” Sanghyun thought for a while. “She has to be cheerful, has bright smile, a good cook, and she must love Mommy and Dara Nuna.” He smiled at his words. “And your ideal type, hyung?”
“Well, she has to be like Dara Nuna.” Jiyong quickly answered casually. He felt Sanghyun tensed up a bit, Dara stared at him, and their mother looked at him with wide eyes. “How about you, Nuna? What is your ideal type?”
Jiyong smiled with his all, while Dara stared at him with blank expression.